WASHINGTON — The battle over Monday’s Electoral College vote is the beginning, not the end. A larger campaign to undermine the legitimacy — and constitutionality — of Donald Trump’s presidency is likely just getting underway.
Discomfort with Donald Trump before and since Election Day, the divisiveness of the 2016 election more broadly, and the popular vote mismatch with the Electoral College result have produced yet another unusual moment in an unusual year.
Many Democrats and other opponents of Trump have been working to change the results of the election through the Electoral College vote on Monday — an almost-impossible-to-succeed effort to deny Trump a majority of the electoral votes as required to become president. Presuming that mission is unsuccessful, prepare for the next phase: Jan. 6, when Congress formally tallies the results of those votes.
At that time, as few as two members of Congress — one in the House and one in the Senate — could lodge an objection to the results of the vote in a particular state or overall. While similarly unlikely to change the outcome, given current circumstances, it would be another wrench thrown into the transition of power — and another effort to make the case of opposition to the coming Trump presidency.
But even then, don’t expect it to end. Efforts to undermine Trump’s presidency by Democrats and those Republicans who believe Trump is unfit for office — or violating his oath of office — almost certainly will continue, a cascading series of constant challenges.
In short, Monday could be the opening salvo of a new campaign against a president’s legitimacy — a fact-based version of the racist, fact-free birther conspiracy. This time around, the questions raised appear to be legitimate — Trump’s international conflicts of interest are real and, according to the unanimous view of US intelligence agencies, Russian attempts to influence the election are likewise real. The problem this time, however, is that — for the most part — these are uncharted waters and there are no established solutions. Read full story here